Further to our discussions about privacy on Facebook and other social networking sites, you may be interested in Smokescreen, which is an online game created by Channel 4 that takes you through a number of missions in which you discover the many ways in which your privacy and your data can be compromised online.
For example, ever played one of those “What’s your stripper name?” games? In which you might provide your pet’s name, the first street you lived on, and so on? In another context, this information might be used a security questions when you’ve forgotten a password – and in providing the “game” with this information, who are you really talking to?
So in one mission, you use ‘Gaggle’ search to find the ‘Fakebook’ and ‘Tweetr’ accounts of a girl your friend fancies, then dig around to see where she’s going out that night, what she’ll be wearing, and what her interests are, so that your friend can better chat her up. Each piece of information that she shared seemed totally innocuous until you put it all together and use it to stalk her: it’s scary how easy it is, and how totally plausible.